Cosmetologist Salary & Benefits

by Lucy Friend - Updated September 26, 2017
A cosmetologist styling a customer's hair.

A cosmetologist provides hair, skin, nails and other personal care services to customers. These professionals work in a beauty salon and offer services such as hair cutting, coloring and texturizing, as well as skin care, manicures and pedicures. In November 2010, Payscale reported national average salaries and benefits based on 422 individuals working as cosmetologists.


Most states require cosmetology applicants to be 16 years of age and receive approximately 1,250 hours of accredited training. Most states also require cosmetologists to be licensed to practice. To obtain a license, applicants must pass state-administered practical and written exams.


Most cosmetologists earn an hourly wage and overtime pay for working more than 40 hours per week. The average salary ranged from $7.55 to $10.30 per hour. Overtime wages ranged from $10.08 to $14.31 per hour. Along with hourly and overtime wages, cosmetologists also receive tips from customers. Average tips ranged from $1.26 to $3.67 per hour.

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Some employers offer heath care benefits as part of a cosmetologist's compensation package. Twenty-four percent reported receiving medical care, 17 percent reported receiving dental care and 13 percent reported receiving vision care benefits, according to Payscale.

Additional Compensation

Cosmetologists can also receive bonuses and profit sharing. Average bonuses ranged from $100 to $1,021 per year, and profit sharing ranged from $98 to $1,424 per year. Most beauty salons sell personal care products and pay cosmetologists commissions for selling products. Average commissions ranged from $318 to $5,087 per year. The total yearly compensation ranged from $17,161 to $31,022 per year.


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